Traffic Law

Traffic laws are a must to enforce traffic discipline. Most countries have formulated their own traffic laws which lay down traffic rules and list the punishments for flouting them. In the U.S., states and municipalities have their own traffic laws. While they are based on the Uniform Vehicle Code, we see that the rules and punishments are different in different states. For instance, in some states like Florida, there is a clear demarcation between traffic and criminal law. In such places, a traffic offense becomes a criminal activity only in certain cases like when a driver flees after causing an accident. In other states like South Carolina, traffic law forms part of criminal law. Therefore, even over speeding by a driver will be considered as a criminal offense.

Some Aspects of U.S. Traffic Law

Right of Way

When there is a road intersection, there arises a traffic flow problem. Who is to have the right of way or who has to be given first priority? Generally, most countries including the U.S., follow the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals. So there are certain standards signals, signs etc. which denote the right of way.

Also, there are four ways stops at four way intersections, a stop sign at every entrance. Also, according to traffic law, pedestrians are given preference at such places.


Many states in the U.S. prohibit turning at busy intersections. In some cities like San Francisco, the driver of a vehicle is not allowed to take a turn on such intersections and will have to drive around the block. Also, by default, the traffic from the right should be allowed first. There is also a boulevard rule under traffic law. When traffic moves from a small road to a busy road, priority is given to the vehicle on the busy road.


When the road has a solid white line running in the middle, it means that changing lanes on that road is discouraged. On the other hand, a double white line is drawn on roads where lane change is prohibited under traffic law.

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